Friday, April 27, 2012

Garden Reveal 2012

I've labeled this Reveal 2012 because I remember I did a reveal last year too.  After "experiencing" our yard and garden for one full year - all 4 seasons - we learned what worked and what didn't, and what changes we needed to make.  Last year we were on a shoestring budget, so we did the best we could.  This year, in addition to all the dirt to plant new grass, we spent the rest of our budget on evergreens, bushes and shrubs.  We needed some more height and "bulk" to fill in between the flowers.  We also wanted some year round these for instance.

I call this my evergreen garden - holly and colorado blue spruce - our year round Christmas tree.  We cannot wait to string it with lights during the Christmas season.  Its little, but its the one we could afford (they are mucho expensive).   And since I call this my forever home, we'll have the joy of watching it grow and mature.

This is our new lilac bush (the bigger plant in the pic)....that will smell really nice. 
New inkberry bush (the big one in the back corner).  We moved the failing azalea to the foreground to get more sun and put the larger inkberry in back to really fill in the corner. 
And birdbath.....we have a bird feeder in the backyard, and we just love watching the birds, so we decided to add a bath for them and already we have lots of little visitors.
I decided our walkway needed presence and pizzazz, so we added these junipers....they are year round so our walkway will always make a statement.
The silvery light green plants are dusty miller - its is supposed to be annual, but since we had such a mild winter, not only did it not die out, it actually thrived throughout the winter!!  Since I had so much, I used it.  I threw the tulip bulbs in under them so next spring we'll have flowers and color, and I think we'll probably plant later blooming flowers next year in place of the dusty miller.  But hey - for one little flat for maybe $12 I got more tan my money's worth.

At the top of our driveway, in front of our sunroom, it was a barren no man's land so we planted these.....the azalea should get quite large and fill in that space. 

And finally - we moved our hostas from the full sun front garden to this nice shady spot at the back of the sunroom.  They are soooo happy here.  They don't even show an ounce of trauma from their move.  In fact they are thriving.
Little story about these hosta - they are actually from our old house.  I planted 3 in 2004, which grew huge, so I split them in 2007 (when I was big and pregnant).  They again grew huge, so I was able to split them again in 2010 when we closed on this house.  Kind of neat that they have been with us for so long. 

I love gardening.  I've never taken a class or had any lessons.  Its all been trial and error.  That's what is so cool about gardening - plants are so resilient, really.  You get such a sense of confidence when you are able to grow them up big and strong and sustain them.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

She works hard for the money!

I can honestly say I've never worked so physically hard in my entire life.

If I have, I don't remember it at all.

But this week I will remember for a very very long time.....

or at least until all my sore muscles heal and I sit down again without wincing.

Paulo and I took on the massive project of re-doing all our landscaping.  Here's the list of what we tackled:

- cutting in 4 new garden beds in the yard
- planting those new beds with shrubs and small trees.
- transplanting current plants and flowers to existing beds
- mulching all the garden beds.
- and here's the biggie.......spreading 20 yards of dirt!

PHEW!  Believe me, if we had the money, we would have hired someone in a flash to do all this work.  But we could barely afford the material, so that meant we were doing the labor ourselves....saving a grand total of $3,000.  (which I'm sure my husband will pay to me, right?).

I've been in a very grumpy mood all week as you might imagine.  Tired, sore, dirty, tired, hot.  Yes, that's right, it was 90 degrees one day this week...because you know, its usually 90 degrees in April.  NOT!  But it is when Bree is planning a big long work day in the yard.  Then flash forward to today, the first day of soccer for the was 40 degrees, windy and rainy, of course. But if I was planning to be working in the yard again today, it would have been 90 degrees again.

I can truly say though, I couldn't feel more accomplished.  I never thought I'd be able to keep up with Paulo and work side by side with him on every element of this project....but I did it.  And I'm so proud of Paulo, cause let's face it, no matter how hard I worked, he worked even harder.  He had to lift the shrubs and trees.  He had to swing the pick axe to cut into the lawn for the new beds.  I filled the wheel barrow over and over, but he was the one moving it.

We do make a great team.  That makes me happy.  And the boy helped a little here and there too.  So it was a family project...and that makes me proud - "The gardens that we built"

And I have to admit I'm enjoying the jump start on my summer tan.

Here are just a few pics.  Its been raining all day now so I don't have pics of the gardens yet.  I'll post those later.  I cannot wait until the flowers all come in.  We have a nice mix of seasonal bloomers - early spring daffodils and tulips; early summer iris and lilacs; summer long day lillies and hostas; and fall blooming black eyed susans.  Its going to be gorgeous!

 the FIRST truckload of dirt

Boys love dump trucks!  (check out his new summer doo)

Dirt, Dirt, everywhere you look.
Now we just need to seed, fertilize and water, water, water.  (guess we had to save on labor to pay our upcoming water bills).  We hope to have full grown grass by June 1st.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

1000 Gifts Thursday

That every day is a new day
in Him
Rich in His Mercies
His Grace
His Love
And that He offers wonderful 
opportunities at dawn....
to those He endeavor 
to meet Him then....

(why yes I did get up for sunrise on the beach this morning....thank you for asking)

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Bear Books

I picked up this book at a consignment sale last fall:

Since then, its been one of Thomas' favorite bedtime stories. 

Since then, it been mama's favorite, hands down.

Recently I learned it is part of a series.

So I ordered them from area libraries and brought them home recently. 


Rhymes.  Fun words not commonly used in every day conversation. Sweet characters.

I'm plotting how can I purchase e.v.e.r.y. book in the series.  And not just for the boy....for me.

If you have kiddos - check these out.

source for all photos here